There may well never be an American golfing trio to compare with Nelson, Snead and Hogan. Thanks to Dodson we now have a...

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AMERICAN TRIUMVIRATE

SAM SNEAD, BYRON NELSON, BEN HOGAN, AND THE MODERN AGE OF GOLF

Evoking a Golden Age of American golf.

Within a span of a few months in 1912, three golfing legends were born: Byron Nelson, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. The trio would transform the game of golf, bringing it greater popularity than ever before and paving the way for the sport’s mainstream acceptance in the United States. This “American Triumvirate” competed furiously against one another from the Great Depression through World War II and, at least as far as Hogan and Snead were concerned, well into the 1950s. At various time each man could stake a claim to being the world’s best golfer. In this triple biography, golf writer Dodson (A Son of the Game, 2010, etc.) explores the inevitably intertwined lives of these three giants, exploring their personal foibles and struggles as well as their golf careers, and he conjures a picture of how golf came into its own in the American sporting firmament. With crisp prose, the author captures the feel of mid-century America and the game of golf before an era of multimillion-dollar endorsement deals, unimaginable tournament purses and 24-hour global TV coverage. Indeed, Dodson clearly shows how Nelson, Hogan and Snead essentially created the world of golf as it exists today. Occasionally the author gets caught up in vague pronoun usage within the overlapping paths of his protagonists, and only true golf fans will find all of the blow-by-blow accounts of significant tournaments compelling. Nonetheless, the book is a fine example of sports history and popular American history.

There may well never be an American golfing trio to compare with Nelson, Snead and Hogan. Thanks to Dodson we now have a much better idea of why they were so vital to a sport that continues to simultaneously fascinate and vex millions of people across the country and the world.

Pub Date: March 19, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-27249-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2012

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A broad and deep look at Japan’s medieval referents, and a capable illustration of a martial art form steeped in rich...

PERSIMMON WIND

A MARTIAL ARTIST'S JOURNEY IN JAPAN

A reflective and entertaining journey through Japan, as the author seeks to reconnect with his martial arts sensei.

Lowry is a student of koryu (not to be confused with kendo), a style of Japanese classical swordsmanship. Koryu is a medieval art, like Noh and the tea ceremony, a style of combat born on the battlefield–but more importantly, it’s a way to address the world (though an esoteric one: Lowry may well be the only American practicing the art in the United States). Indeed, present-day practitioners refrain from exercising its fatal possibilities. Lowry’s sensei left the U.S. to return to Japan, urging Lowry to follow. Though his life headed in a different direction, he never forgot his training–when the time was ripe, he journeyed to Japan to join his sensei. The narrative revolves around this pivotal decision, and it provides a warm center from which the author expounds on such topics as the glories of a Japanese bath; the evolution of the Samurai caste; the peculiarities of Japanese landscape architecture; the elements of proper sandal-tying; the custom of the premarital shenanigans called yobai; and the teachings of mikkyo Buddhism. He also includes the vital story of the sword–what it reveals about Japanese life and technology, social structure and aesthetic values, etiquette, apprenticeship and the process of education. Lowry’s seriousness lends an earnest cast to the proceedings, but he’s not without a sense of humor–commenting upon his accomplished slurping of noodles, a friend’s wife notes, “He really sucks!”

A broad and deep look at Japan’s medieval referents, and a capable illustration of a martial art form steeped in rich tradition.

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2005

ISBN: 1-890536-10-5

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

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A book that will help everyone feel good at the end of the sporting day.

THE RUDY IN YOU

A GUIDE TO BUILDING TEAMWORK, FAIR PLAY, AND GOOD SPORTSMANSHIP FOR YOUNG ATHLETES, PARENTS, AND COACHES

An uplifting guide to sportsmanship. The subtitle says it all.

Using the example of Ruettiger, whose experience as a Notre Dame football walk-on inspired the 1994 film, Rudy, the authors rail against disrespectful behavior in sports, at any level. They argue that kids, parents and coaches are part of a matrix that can either create a joyful youth sports environment, or a nasty stew of overweening pride, gross expectations and antisocial behavior. With an old school bluntness, they plainly state how participants should act: Kids should have a clear sense of what they want to do, develop strategies for achieving their goals, listen and learn, show respect to all, cultivate a strong work ethic, be positive and helpful and trustworthy, and finally, be patient. Parents should be involved, too, but should always "remember to be the adults. Let the kids be kids." This means not projecting your own aspirations onto your children, while encouraging self-esteem and confidence. Coaches must know their sport (even if they are only volunteers), exemplify personal excellence, challenge the kids, earn their trust, be open to feedback and get everyone involved. The authors’ straightforward advice may seem obvious, but Phillips, Leddy and Ruettiger go further, providing solid examples of how to put these principles into practice. And for all the character building, they also appreciate that kids just want to have fun.

A book that will help everyone feel good at the end of the sporting day.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2005

ISBN: 1-58348-764-6

Page Count: -

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 27, 2010

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